Wolves

Clubs That *Should* Be In The Premier League

Okay, to clear things up, I’m by no means suggesting that the following seven clubs get automatic admission to the top-flight. In fact, the teams that are in the Premier League, deserve to be there… obviously. So to the likes of Hull City, Swansea City, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and beyond, congratulations you merit your position. This is just, if I had to start the Premier League from scratch, who I would choose to be the additional founding members.

Leeds United

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 9

Marching on together… Leeds United are a sleeping giant.

The lilywhites of West Yorkshire are simply one of the most famous clubs in the country. They’ve experienced great success in the past and have a fanbase to much, despite their now dwindling numbers at home. Leeds would bring a great deal of atmosphere to the Premier League with their passionate away support and would ignite the ‘Roses derby’ with Manchester United that the neutral has been robbed of for so many years.

Ipswich Town

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 11

Unchanged… Portman Road has experienced more than a decade of stability.

The former UEFA Cup champions from Suffolk are certainly unsung when this debate ever arouses. Despite spending the last 11 years rooted in the second tier, Town are still, in my humble opinion, a bigger club than their East Anglian rivals, Norwich City. The Tractor boys may not have the fanbase to match other clubs in this list but they are certainly worthy of gracing the top flight, having finished fifth as recently as the 2000-01 season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Current league: Sky Bet League One
Years in exile: 2

Underachieving… Wolves will spend the 2013-14 season in the third tier.

Woeful Wolves have only spent two seasons outside of the top-flight but now find themselves two promotions from returning. The West Midlands club have been in free fall since 2011 and should never have hit the low they’re at now. Wolves remain a club with a sizeable fanbase and a glittering history, certainly worthy of returning to the Premier League sooner rather than later.

Sheffield Wednesday

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 13

Invasion… Fans celebrate 2012’s promotion to the Championship

If we’re talking underachievers, you can’t look much further than Sheffield Wednesday. Historically, the club can boast eight major trophies and a huge fanbase in a city that shares two fairly big clubs. The Owls ought to reach the Premier League just to spare their long-suffering fans who have seen the third tier nearly as much as the second in the last decade.

Leicester City

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 9

Geared… City’s impressive ‘new’ home has only seen one season of top-flight football.

I may be biased here but the Foxes are more than worthy of a place in the big time. Despite being steeped in a history of nearlies, Leicester City have always been slugging it out in the top two tiers, in fact, they have spent less time outside the top two divisions than any other club on this list. City have been knocking on the Premier League door since 2009 and have had several excruciating close calls, the fans of one of the Championship’s four biggest fanbase deserve a return to the lucrative 90s.

Nottingham Forest

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 15

‘World famous’… The City Ground has been more attuned to League One football than the Premier League in recent years.

A painful inclusion to say the least, but one I’d struggle to argue against. The once well-known Reds are former European champions, not that they like anyone to know and have a fair history even without the legendary Brian Clough’s contribution. Forest also boast one of the best fanbases outside the top-flight with Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and local ‘non-rivals’, Leicester City.

Derby County

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 5

Blind loyalty… Derby fans sold out nearly every home game of the record-breaking 2008-09 season.

It would be nice to see all of the East Midlands big three back in the top-flight meaning the Rams needed a place on the list. A club that boasts a good history and a recent calamitous foray in the Premier League that I’m sure they would like to rectify. Recognition has to be given to Rams’ fans for their loyalty at home during the dire 2008-09 season and beyond, even if their fans do share a travel sickness.

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English Football’s Biggest Clubs : REVEALED!

It’s probably the biggest argument among football fans today; who is bigger than who? Rival clubs across the country will claim to be a greater presence in the game than their mortal enemies but who really stands above the rest? Southampton or Portsmouth? Newcastle or Sunderland? Liverpool or Manchester United?

The rankings below are determined by points allocated based on historical success and support – the two main contributors to a club’s stature.

Point system

Bridesmaids… Yo-yo clubs, Leicester and Birmingham are rewarded for their near misses and consistency in league position.

  • Seasons – 4 points for top flight season, 3 points for 2nd tier season, 1 point for 3rd tier season, 0 points for 4th tier or lower, 4 additional points for Champion’s League season and 3 additional points for Europa League season.
  • Trophies – 10 points for top flight championship, 6 points for FA Cup win, 4 points for League Cup win, 12 points for Champion’s League win, 7 points for Europa League win, 4 points for 2nd tier title, 1 point for lower league title.
  • “Nearlies” – 4 points for FA Cup final appearance, 2 points for FA Cup semi-final appearance, 2 points for League Cup final appearance, 1 point for League Cup semi-final appearance, 7 points for Champion’s League second place.
  • Fanbase- Average home attendances had been taken for every club since their inception. A combined attendance has been found to which each club’s record has been converted to a percentage. However, several people have complained that past attendances are now irrelevant and the only accurate measure of fanbase is current home attendance. As such the same method has been used but with average home attendances from the 2014–15 season. To ensure that history and support were measured equally; each club was allocated their percentage of 23,574 points (the total number of success points of all clubs).

Non-league clubs are not included in the ranking.

Rankings

*all data correct as of 20th June 2016

 

Rank Change from 2015 Club Pts
1 Manchester United 2506
2 Arsenal 2057
3 Liverpool 1950
4 +1 Manchester City 1669
5 +1 Newcastle United 1551
6 -2 Chelsea 1492
7 Everton 1466
8 Aston Villa 1436
9 +1 Sunderland 1370
10 -1 Tottenham Hotspur 1308
11 +1 Leicester City 1074
12 +1 Derby County 1066
13 -2 West Bromwich Albion 1043
14 West Ham United 1038
15 Wolverhampton Wand. 957
16 +1 Sheffield Wednesday 951
17 +1 Leeds United 912
18 -2 Nottingham Forest 910
19 Stoke City 906
20 Southampton 902
21 +4 Middlesbrough 865
22 -1 Blackburn Rovers 849
23 -1 Sheffield United 834
24 +2 Birmingham City 786
25 -2 Bolton Wanderers 778
26 +1 Norwich City 765
27 -3 Burnley 753
28 Preston North End 697
29 Crystal Palace 685
30 Ipswich Town 641
31 +3 Portsmouth 632
32 Fulham 627
33 +2 Brighton & Hove Alb. 612
34 +2 Huddersfield Town 573
35 +6 Watford 569
36 +1 Charlton Athletic 564
37 +2 Swansea City 560
38 -5 Cardiff City 554
39 -8 Hull City 540
40 -2 Queens Park Rangers 539
41 +1 Bristol City 524
42 +4 Bradford City 518
43 +2 Coventry City 493
44 -1 Reading 462
45 -5 Blackpool 445
46 -2 Barnsley 439
47 Luton Town 401
48 Notts County 391
49 Millwall 350
50 Bury 330
51 n/a Grimsby Town 326
52 -1 Rotherham United 324
53 +2 Plymouth Argyle 323
54 -2 Brentford 309
55 -1 Oldham Athletic 298
56 +1 AFC Bournemouth 297
57 -1 Swindon Town 273
58 +1 Leyton Orient 267
59 +2 Bristol Rovers 266
60 -2 Port Vale 262
61 -8 Wigan Athletic 258
62 -2 Chesterfield 254
63 +4 MK Dons 248
64 -1 Oxford United 226
65 -1 Walsall 217
66 -4 Doncaster Rovers 211
67 -2 Southend United 208
68 -2 Gillingham 190
69 -1 Carlisle United 181
70 Shrewsbury Town 168
71 AFC Wimbledon 163
72 -3 Crewe Alexandra 162
73 Northampton Town 159
74 -2 Peterborough United 138
75 -1 Cambridge United 129
76 Scunthorpe United 122
77 -2 Exeter City 120
78 -1 Colchester United 118
79 Hartlepool United 113
80 +2 Mansfield Town 108
81 -1 Rochdale 102
82 -1 Newport County 94
83 +1 Wycombe Wanderers 87
84 -1 Yeovil Town 83
85 +3 Burton Albion 78
86 Accrington Stanley 65
87 Stevenage 63
88 -3 Fleetwood Town 62
89 n/a Cheltenham Town 58
90 -1 Crawley Town 46
91 Barnet 43
92 -1 Morecambe 28

Statistics

  • Liverpool just pip Manchester United to the title of ‘most successful club’ in English football, accumulating 1165 points, five more than United.
  • The least successful club in the Football League is Morecambe who didn’t tally a single success point.
  • Everton have spent more time in the top flight than any other club – 111 seasons.
  • Eight clubs have never fallen out of the top two tiers of English football; Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
  • The biggest club to have never won the top flight was Leicester City but is now West Ham United.
  • The biggest club to have dropped as low as the third tier is Aston Villa.
  • The biggest club to have never won the FA Cup is Leicester City.
  • The best supported club in England based on average attendance is Manchester United.
  • Rotherham United are the biggest club to have never graced the top flight.
  • Whereas, Exeter City are the biggest club to not have played in either of the top two divisions.
  • The biggest clubs in each of the top four divisions are Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.
  • The smallest are Bournemouth, Burton Albion, Fleetwood Town and Morecambe respectively.
  • The biggest English club to have never won the Champion’s League or European cup is Arsenal. The smallest club to do so is Nottingham Forest.
  • The biggest underachievers in the Football League currently are Portsmouth who are two divisions below their ‘natural level’.
  • The biggest overachievers are Burton Albion and Bournemouth who are competing two divisions above their ‘natural level’.

Obscure Football Rivalries

Every football fan relishes the appearance of a local derby on the fixture list. It makes the game just that more exciting. But, locality is not the only reason that rivalry erupts in the beautiful game. Below are just seven examples of when feuds have spilled over between two seemingly unrelated clubs.

Sheffield United vs. West Ham United
Distance: 177.4 miles

Dodgy… Carlos Tevez’ goal consigned The Blades to relegation

The rivalry between the two Uniteds erupted back in 2007. The Blades had won an unexpected promotion to the top flight and were battling out with three other clubs for survival, including the Hammers. Sheffield United lost narrowly at home to Wigan Athletic, who leapfrogged them in to 17th. However, had West Ham lost, the Blades would have been saved.  However, West Ham won at newly-crowned champions, Manchester United by the virtue of a Carlos Tevez goal. This might sound like sour grapes from the Blades’ fans for holding a grudge over a relegation scrap, but the signing of Tevez and in fact Javier Mascherano were illegal, meaning had a point deduction been dished out, the Sheffield outfit may be two divisions higher than they are now. The Blades have yet to receive the opportunity to exact revenge on the East London club but it promises to be a fiery affair.

Norwich City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Distance: 171.8 miles

Lonely… The Canaries see Wolves as the best alternative to Ipswich

The rivalry between the Canaries and Wolves came about over a bad tackle. Seriously, that’s it. In fairness to Norwich City, there aren’t many clubs in their neck of the woods to pick a fight with. Even their famous ‘Old Farm’ derby against Ipswich Town features a round trip of over 100 miles for away fans, so it’s no surprise when games against the Tractor Boys are in short supply that the Canaries have to look elsewhere for a bit of spice. The tackle that started it off was one by Kevin Muscat that led to Craig Bellamy breaking his leg, a free-for-all ensued and the animosity carried through to their succeeding play-off games. It’s safe to say, most Wolves fans are over this run-in but the Canaries are still chirping on.

Coventry City vs. Sunderland
Distance: 200.3 miles

Grudge… Sunderland savoured Cov’s relegation 35 years after theirs.

Okay, okay, I know it’s hard to believe but Coventry City were actually involved in a rivalry with a notable club many moons ago. This one occurred due to yet another relegation battle. Coventry, Bristol City and Sunderland had been battling to avoid relegation on the last day. Coventry and Bristol City had been playing each other when news broke that Sunderland had lost, subsequently they seemed to resign the game to a draw and allow the Black Cats to finish the 1976-77 season in the bottom three. However, the Mackems had their revenge as they flocked to the Sky Blues Talk forum at the end of 2011-12 season to mock Coventry’s descent to the third tier.

Huddersfield Town vs. Peterborough United
Distance: 124.0 miles

Drama… Posh and Huddersfield have been thorns in eachother’s sides for the past 3 seasons.

West Yorkshire met East Anglia in the 2010-11 League One play-off final at Old Trafford. Town fans had outnumbered the Posh army by 2:1 but a 7-minute goal fest stunned the favourites as United ran out 3-o victors. Huddersfield achieved promotion the season after setting up a showdown in the 2012-13 season. Huddersfield’s revenge was put on hold as Posh took four points from their league meetings but The Terriers had the last laugh as Posh fell to a 3-2 defeat at Selhurst Park on the final day. Huddersfield and Barnsley played out a 2-2 draw to keep them both in the division as Peterborough were relegated. Reports broke on Twitter that Huddersfield and Barnsley had emulated Coventry and Bristol City of 1977 and purposely kept the score level to ensure Posh’s relegation. There are still legs in this one.

Boston United vs. Dagenham & Redbridge
Distance: 124.7 miles

Robbed… Boston stole promotion but the Daggers had the last laugh.

In terms of footballing quality, this one is far from comparable with El Clasico but there is a genuine ill-feeling between to the two lower-league clubs. Boston and the Daggers led the Conference Premier back in 2001/02. United clinched the title in controversial fashion as they were accused of making illegal payments to players and as a result Dagenham finished second on goal difference, condemning them to the play-offs. Had the FA gone through with a points deduction that season, United would have swapped positions with the Daggers but they didn’t. They instead incurred a 4 point deduction the season after. Of course, had Dag & Red won the play-offs this would be a forgotten issue but that honour fell to Yeovil Town. Although, the Daggers never got to enact their redemption themselves, they can now sleep smugly knowing that they reside in the Football League while Boston United are consigned to Conference North relegation battles.

Colchester United vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Distance: 98.3 miles

Odd… Few understand this sometimes farcical rivalry.

The closest pair of rivals of this list are Colchester and Wycombe. This is another rivalry that was intensified by a close run Conference Premier title race however, it originated at a feisty 1985 FA Cup tie marred by crowd trouble. Six years later, the duo were over 20 points clear of the rest of the challenging clubs but Colchester nicked the title on goal difference and thus, won automatic promotion. Wandererers’ fans seemed to take particular offence to a defeat to Col U that involved conceding a goal direct from a goal kick. Either way, any animosity would be avoided if Wycombe won the play-offs. Of course, they didn’t.

Chelsea vs. Leicester City
Distance: 102.1 miles

Bloody… Chelsea and Leicester have a violent vendetta.

The battle in blue is an old rivalry back from the 1970s and 1980s. In a season where Chelsea were leading the charge for promotion to the top flight, the Blues travelled to Filbert Street backed by 10,000 raucous supporters. However, the Foxes rained on their parade with a 1-o win, in a match that featured a whole host of missed penalties from Chelsea. This resulted in outbreaks of violence in the stands. Leicester went on to win the league whilst Chelsea remained in the second tier. In fact, the club’s firms; the Head Hunters and The Baby Squad would have several run-ins in the years that followed. On occasion the firms would travel down to each other’s stomping yards even when the clubs weren’t playing, to scrap. Today, while it sounds a particularly ferocious fixture, most fans of both clubs are unaware or unaffected by the rivalry. However, some keep the fire burning in the terraces. Leicester’s ‘Hark Now Hear’ chant features Chelsea while the Blues started the ‘Over land and sea! AND LEICESTER!’ trend. In fact, in a recent FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge in 2012, City fans were turned away from certain pubs being told “You don’t want to go in there. You have no idea how much they hate you.”

2012-13 Football League Championship : Fans’ preview

The new season of the best 2nd tier in the World is less than a month away and the fans of the 24 clubs preparing to do battle over the next 9 months are chomping at the bit to voice their opinions, dreams and concerns for the coming campaign…

Title Contenders

Blackburn Rovers

Bounce-back-ability… Rovers fans are Kean to return to the top flight

Last season: 19th (Premier League)
Home ground: Ewood Park
Rivals: Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End
Bookies’ prediction: 4th

Questions answered by Carly Brown http://www.twitter.com/carly_brown_

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion! – I think we can do it. We’ve had some decent signings that can strengthen the squad and fill our weaknesses from last season

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Missing out on promotion. Slacking in important games. Giving up..

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We was weak in defence and midfield last season at certain times. Need strong commited centre midfields

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Easy one. Ask any Rovers fan – DOUBLE OVER BURNLEY!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
I think Danny Murphy will be strong for us this season. If key players from last season stay I think they will shine in the Championship

6. Who will win the league?   ~
Bolton..                                         

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
 I think newly promoted Sheff Wednesday and Huddersield will do unexpectedly well               

8. Where will you finish?
2nd

Bolton Wanderers

Nailed on… Ryan Taylor is just as confident as the bookies are for a
top-flight return by the Trotters.

Last season: 18th (Premier League)
Home ground: Reebok Stadium
Rivals: Blackburn Rovers,  Manchester United, Wigan Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 2nd

Questions answered by Ryan Taylor http://www.twitter.com/razzat93

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To go back up at first time of asking!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
To have a poor home form and injuries like last season.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
 A left back and back up goalkeeper.


4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Blackburn and Burnley.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Chung yung Lee, Holden and Kevin Davies

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton (I hope!)

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Blackpool

8. Where will you finish?
1st

Cardiff City

Unlucky… The Bluebirds are serial play-off chokers.

Last season: 6th
Home ground: Cardiff City Stadium
Rivals: Swansea City, Bristol City, Newport County, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 7th

Questions answered by Jordan Jones http://www.twitter.com/jordanjonesy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Automatic promotion

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Failing dramatically despite the investment.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Wingers and Striker

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Wolves

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Mason, Velikonja, Whittingham and Bellamy(pending he signs)

6. Who will win the league?
 Cardiff if the right players are brought in, failing that Blackburn                                    

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Dark horses will be Watford                      

8. Where will you finish?
3rd place, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion

Leeds United

Unpopular… ‘Dirty Leeds’ and ‘Colin Wanker’ may be a match made in Hell.

Last season: 14th
Home ground: Elland Road
Rivals: Manchester United, Chelsea
Bookies’ prediction: 5th

Questions answered by Carl Watson http://www.twitter.com/CarlCarlito75

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Takeover completed and wave bates goodbye

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defence

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Barnsley

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Lees, Kenny and Snodgrass

6. Who will win the league?
Leeds

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
Top

Leicester City

Modest… Favourites Leicester are staying much more grounded this time around.

Last season: 9th
Home ground: King Power Stadium
Rivals: Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Coventry City
Bookies’ prediction: Champions

Questions answered by Dean Goodsell http://www.twitter.com/deangoodsell

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion, pure and simple. After so many seasons of saying “this is our year”, just once it would be nice to have it finally come true.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Another season of mid-table mediocrity. We’ve had so little to celebrate over the past few seasons, just something would be nice.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Our strength in depth. In positions such as central defence, on the wing and even in goal we do not have decent back up. If anything is to be our downfall this season, I fear it may be injuries and suspensions.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Bristol City. After having them do the double over us last season, I feel some revenge is in order.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…

Jamie Vardy – Boasts a very good goalscoring record in non league. If he can make the step up, he will certainly give opposition defences some concern this season!

Ben Marshall – A promising youngster who had a good end to the season last term. With a good eye for goal and a mean set piece on him, I’m sure we can expect to see more of the same this year.

Wes Morgan – A typical Pearson-esque ‘no nonsense’ defender. Big, strong and competent on the ball, it’ll take a brave man to get past him!

6. Who will win the league?
Birmingham. A decent, young manager at the helm, who some say was unfairly dismissed from Huddersfield. Lee Clark will certainly be eager to prove his critics wrong. They’ve made good use of the transfer market so far, bringing in experienced players such as Ambrose and Mullins who are joining an already decent Championship setup. Also, without the added pressure of European football this season, I feel they will be a tough nut to crack.                                           

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield. It’s not uncommon to see teams from League One achieve success in the Championship, Huddersfield will be on a wave of momentum after winning the playoffs last season and will look to emulate the likes of Norwich and Southampton. If they can keep the core of their team from last season, they will certainly surprise a few people this season.

8. Where will you finish?
6th

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woeful Wolves… ‘The Glass Fox’ is hoping that Wanderers’ defensive troubles are a thing of the past.

Last season: 20th (Premier League)
Home ground: Molineux
Rivals: West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Aston Villa
Bookies’ prediction: 3rd

Questions answered by ‘The Glass Fox’ http://www.twitter.com/The_Glass_Fox

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My hope and that of many Wolves fans is that we can start playing some attractive football and improve on the performances of last season

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Going back to long ball football consistently, Wolves need a change from the style of play that happened under McCarthy

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
The defence has been an issue for 5 seasons now but the imminent signing of Vadim Demidov maybe a coupe for the new manager.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
The local derby with Birmingham is always a big game and a positive result against Blues would be a fantastic thing.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Wolves players to look out for the new signings Sigurdarson who a fast and strong Icelandic striker, who has been compared to Ibrahimovic

6. Who will win the league?
I would love for Wolves to go all the way but I can’t look past Forest if they spend big and Blackburn, who have a really strong

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I think Simon Grayson could take Huddersfield to the playoffs this season, I also think SWFC could have back to back promotions.

8. Where will you finish?
With Wolves might heart says they will get automatic promotion but my head thinks that the playoffs would be a good achievement for us.

Play-off hopefuls

Birmingham City

Contenders… Brum are gunning for promotion and regional rivals, Wolves.

Last season: 4th
Home ground: St. Andrews
Rivals: Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion
Bookies’ prediction: 10th

Questions answered by Liam Radburn http://www.twitter.com/Raggy118118

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Becoming a mid table team

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defensive cover

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Wolves

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Butland and Redmond

6. Who will win the league?
Blackburn                              

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Charlton

8. Where will you finish?
6th

Blackpool

Expectant… Gollum’s Tangerine army think this is their year.

Last season: 5th
Home ground: Bloomfield Road
Rivals: Preston North End, Burnley
Bookies’ prediction: 8th

Questions answered by Bob http://www.twitter.com/RWC_TheWire

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Anywhere in the Top 3, but as long as we are in the play-offs and have a strong chance of getting promoted I don’t mind

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing another play-off final or missing out on promotion on the last day for whatever reason. Losing to Bolton (Mate’s team) is also bad.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Another goal-keeper as back-up wouldn’t be a bad idea, and same again with a defender. Would love to sign Stephen Dobbie fully, and maybe a back up striker.  Actually, I’ll say a back-up striker who we can ease in to replace Super Kev

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Would love to beat Bolton, Leeds and Burnley. Beating all the Yorkshire teams wouldn’t go down badly really.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Incey and Matty Phillips always look good on the wings, Cathcart is still young and improving, our midfield all stand out too.

6. Who will win the league?
Anyone out of: Us, Bolton, Wolves, Blackburn, Birmingham and Forest. If I had to pick, I’d say Birmingham.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Hopefully us, seen us written off quite a bit but a top 3 finish is easily on the cards I reckon. Play-offs without a doubt. If not, I’d say Leeds, Leicester or Middlesbrough

8. Where will you finish?
Somewhere in-between 2nd and 8th. Depends on how well the likes of Blackburn or Forest do, no-one can weigh them up at the moment.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Determined… The Seagulls are desperate to win football’s most illogical rivalry.

Last season: 10th
Home ground: AMEX Stadium
Rivals: Crystal Palace
Bookies’ prediction: 9th

Questions answered by Simon Sheppard http://www.twitter.com/SeagullSimon

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope for the new season? Same as every other Championship fan really, That my team gets promotion to The Premiership.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear? Losing at home to Palace again!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
It’s only 2 now after signing Kuszcak in goal. We need a proven Championship goalscorer, and a tough tackling midfielder.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace!!! It’s important we shut up Da Croydon Massiff this season.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Vicente obviously, but Buckley, LuaLua, Bruno, Bridcutt, CMS, Barnes, Bridge, Noone but to name a few

6. Who will win the league?
I think we will be there or thereabouts, but my tip for The Championship is Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
This seasons “dark Horses” Brighton. Not saying that because I’m a fan. but made some great signings, more to come, you watch us go!

8. Where will you finish?
Where will Brighton finish? Anywhere in the top 6, but I have a sneaky feeling it will be 2nd.

Charlton Athletic

Realists… Dan Finch doesn’t think the Addicks should be aiming for the Premier League just yet.

Last season: Champions (League One)
Home ground: The Valley
Rivals: Millwall, Crystal Palace
Bookies’ prediction: 14th

Questions answered by Dan Finch http://www.twitter.com/MiniFinchy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Stay in the league Keep Solly and Keep Jacko on form!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing to Palace! Can’t be dealing with that or relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Need a goalie or another centre back. Someone Like Maguire from Sheff Utd.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace or Sheffield Wednesday.. Hate ’em both

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Chris Solly, Yann Kermorgant, Rhoys Wiggins and Danny Hollands

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton should

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Wouldn’t say no if Derby are up there if they can keep form maybe Middlesbrough

8. Where will you finish?
17th around there 🙂 #coyr

Hull City

Lonely on Humberside… Bitter Hull want to sink their claws in to East Midlands’ Leicester

Last season: 8th
Home ground: KC Stadium
Rivals: Leeds United, Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United
Bookies’ prediction: 14th

Questions answered by Nicholas Smith http://www.twitter.com/Nicks648

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope for the new season is that we will get automatic promotion I am quietly confident under Bruce it can happen

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is that we under perform and battle relegation however I find this possibility highly unlikely with a mid table finish probably our worst position

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Our team needs a new centre back with jack Hobbs out injured a winger who can beat a man and two new strikers a desperate need due to us scoring only 47 goals last season

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I most want to beat Leicester twice I still have a very bitter taste towards them with regards to Pearson .

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
I would say the player to look out for is Robert Koren can make something happen out of nothing and was sensational last season

6. Who will win the league?
I think it is likely it will be a relegated team like Bolton or Blackburn to win the league

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
This season’s dark horses will be huddersfield they’ve made some good additions and under Grayson I can see them getting play offs

8. Where will you finish?
I think we will finish 3rd this season however I wouldn’t be surprised to see us get automatic

Middlesbrough

Redemption…’Boro are hoping they can avenge last season’s heartache

Last season: 7th
Home ground: The Riverside Stadium
Rivals: Newcastle United, Sunderland, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 12th

Questions answered by Lee Bailey http://www.twitter.com/smoggy_1986

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Hopefully the playoffs at least, was gutting to miss out on the last day last season. Should be getting top 6 this time round

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Squad Depth, our squad is small and injuries to key players cost us a top 6 place last season

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need a creative midfielder, who can unlock stubborn defences, need an experienced LB to give joe bennet competition and some RB’s

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Leeds, dont like Warnock and they are our closest rival in this league.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Marvin Emnes, could be doing nothing one second then scoring the next, Rhys Williams and a FIT (keyword) Matthew Bates

6. Who will win the league?
No idea, this league is insane, take your pick from Boro, Wolves, Brum, Leicester, Blackpool, Bolton, Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Barnsley always favourites to go down but they seem to do okay, maybe Huddersfield. Millwall if they carry on last seasons end of form

8. Where will you finish?
Top 6 at least, I want to say top 2 but who knows.

Nottingham Forest

An East Midlands club with money? Where have we heard that before?

Last season: 19th
Home ground: The City Ground
Rivals: Derby County, Leicester City, Sheffield United, Notts County
Bookies’ prediction: 6th

Questions answered by Zack Grundy http://www.twitter.com/zackgrundy26

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope is that we can finally end our poor streak in play offs and get promoted back to where we belong.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is that the fans will expect too much and turn on the team after a few bad results.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defence no doubt, currently we only have one defender who started consistently last season.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Derby! After losing twice to them last season it makes me want to beat them even more than usual.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Dexter Blackstock, Chris Cohen and Chris Gunter.

6. Who will win the league?
Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield, if they keep Rhodes I am certain that they will be near if not in the play offs.

8. Where will you finish?
I think we will finish near the play offs but not in them.

Sheffield Wednesday

Renaissance… The Owls are ready to perch in the play-offs

Last season: 2nd (League One)
Home ground: Hillsborough
Rivals: Sheffield United, Leeds United, Barnsley
Bookies’ prediction: 13th

Questions answered by Victoria Wood http://www.twitter.com/Victoria1867

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Play offs or mid table, no need for pressure this year!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Biggest fear probably relegation or signing Joey Barton!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We’re pretty covered now. Wouldn’t mind signing Antonio though

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
 L**ds, moreso now Warnock is there!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
one to watch – Maguire

6. Who will win the league?
I’d like to say Bolton but I’d be wrong! Forest maybe? Controversial!

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Same as 6

8. Where will you finish?
Probably mid table

Mid-table Stragglers

Burnley 

Lost in the shuffle… Burnley are one of few clubs that don’t fancy their chances.

Last season: 13th
Home ground: Turf Moor
Rivals: Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Blackpool
Bookies’ prediction: 17th

Questions answered by Kieran Dallimore http://www.twitter.com/KieranClaret

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion, very doubtable.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
 Midfield.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Blackburn Rovers.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Charlie Austin, Danny Ings, Marvin Bartley, Jason Shackell

6. Who will win the league?
Wolverhampton Wanderers

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
11th

Derby County

Charge… The Rams want to defy the odds and grab a top 6 finish.

Last season: 12th
Home ground: Pride Park
Rivals: Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 19th

Questions answered by Jon Mills www.twitter.com/JonMillsDCFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Hoping for a play-off push but we are a selling club under the American ownership.Ok with new signings BUT loss of Shackell/Green massive

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Barker out for season, we cashed in on Shackell and Green has gone so if new signings are not enough we might go backwards this season

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Definitely need at least one new centre half, a left back and a striker

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Same as every season – Florist!!!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Tom Naylor (only 20) did well when he arrived last season. Jeff Hendrick is class. Will Hughes from youth team could make a big impact

6. Who will win the league?
Always look out for the relegated prem teams. Not sure Wolves will do well but Bolton and Blackburn both have a chance

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Promoted teams have done well recently. Fancy Sheffield Wednesday to have a good season

8. Where will you finish?
New signings look good so if we get a decent centre half, cover for left back and a striker to score 15-20 goals, I fancy a top 6 finish

Huddersfield Town 

Buoyant… Terriers’ fans think the good times are back at the Galpharm

Last season: 4th (League One)
Home ground: Galpharm Stadium
Rivals: Leeds United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday
Bookies’ prediction: 16th

Questions answered by HTFC Hub http://www.twitter.com/HTFC_Hub

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Our greatest hope for this season is ultimately to stay up and would be in absolute dream land if we managed to get into the play-offs.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Our biggest fear has to be getting relegated. Nobody wants to go down a league especially after waiting 11 years for promotion.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
#htafc‬ need to strengthen in midfield. Two great signings so far but need one more. Also a forward alongside Rhodes is badly needed.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Most fans would say Leeds but I’m not too bothered. A lot of Yorkshire derby’s this year so would be nice to win a few of those.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Last seasons top goalscorer in England…Jordan Rhodes. Also Hunt, Scannell, Higginbotham, Norwood, Clayton. We have a very strong squad.

6. Who will win the league?
Tough question. The league is going to be so tight this year. Too early to say especially with the transfer window still open.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I’m going for ourselves. May sound big headed but with a couple of extra signings we can really make our mark on the Championship!

8. Where will you finish?
Would settle for anywhere above relegation zone. However realistically I believe we will finish around 8th spot. Maybe even play-offs!

Ipswich Town

Mainstay… Ipswich have been in the 2nd tier for 10 consecutive seasons.

Last season: 15th
Home ground: Portman Road
Rivals: Norwich City
Bookies’ prediction: 15th

Questions answered by Daniel Crack www.twitter.com/DCrackers_ITFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope would be a top 10 finish

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is yet another low midtable finish

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
our defence , as we conceded the 2nd highest amount of goals in English football last season and we’re short of cover at the back

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Peterborough.. to get them back for spanking us last season!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Emmanuel Thomas and Lee Martin

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton, although Brighton are in with a serious shout of finishing as champions!

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I think Leeds will be the dark horses, they have a great manager in charge and they are signing some great players

8. Where will you finish?
I think Ipswich, with the current squad will finish a worrying 17th place, but they all depends on who we sign before the 18th august

Watford

Surprise package… Zola’s hornet army are ready to ambush the league’s big guns.

Last season: 11th
Home ground: Vicarage Road
Rivals: Luton Town
Bookies’ prediction: 18th

Questions answered by Chris ‘Manic’ Mundy http://www.twitter.com/Manic_Mundy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Zola to inspire the team and for Watford to get top 6.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
The team not responding to Zola

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Mainly strikers but also left mid

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Sean Murray & Jon Hogg

6. Who will win the league?
I think Blackburn will win the league .

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Tough one but maybe us..I really think with the right players we could do well.

8. Where will you finish?
Between 8th / 6th

Relegation candidates

Barnsley

Grit… The Tykes are ready to scrap for survival

Last season: 21st
Home ground: Oakwell
Rivals: Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers
Bookies’ prediction: 24th

Questions answered by Tricky Walker www.twitter.com/tricky_bfc_

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
I think mid table if KH works his wonders .. But loosing RVT and Butterfield. I think it will be about surviving this season!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Being a small club with no cash… Our biggest fear in injuries and suspensions!!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
I like to see a big, strong CB come in and a play-maker in CM to fill Butterfield boots.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Good Question. But every Barnsley fan it has be Dee Dars ( Sheff Wed ) haha

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Jim O’Brien.. but us fans would love to see Mido hit top form.

6. Who will win the league?
Hard question.. I’d say Blackpool..

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I’d say Dirty Leeds with Warnock in charge..

8. Where will you finish?
15th?

Bristol City

Recovery… Melissa Spencer hopes for an improved showing from the Robins.

Last season: 20th
Home ground: Ashton Gate
Rivals: Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City
Bookies’ prediction: 22nd

Questions answered by Melissa Spencer http://www.twitter.com/MelissaSpencerX

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Greatest hope is improving on last season, no-one fancies a relegation battle again, so I’d be happy with top half/midtable.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Biggest fear would obviously be going down. we’ve managed to establish ourselves as a Championship club, don’t want to lose it!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need another striker & new centre half primarily, also need a new GK too. We’ve been linked to Buzsaky who is the midfielder we’ve been screaming out for!

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I want to beat Cardiff & Leeds. Cardiff always have a nack of beating us! My boyfriend is Leeds, and they normally beat us so its about time we beat them!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Definitely Albert Adomah. He’s attracted a lot of interest from PL clubs. I’d also recommend looking out for our young winger Yannick Bolasie, not been featured much but when he has, he’s been a gamechanger.

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton, said it as soon as they went down. They have the facilities, and the players, and the manager. They will bounce back.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
 I’d like to say us – but i think Huddersfield will be. They’ve strengthened significantly, and I think Simon Grayson has what it takes to guide them up there.

8. Where will you finish?
I think we’ll finish in between 10-17th. The league is so tight this season, anyone can go up or down.

Crystal  Palace

Staying up… The bookies may have underestimated Palace

Last season: 17th
Home ground: Selhurst Park
Rivals: Brighton & Hove Albion, Millwall, Charlton Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 21st

Questions answered by David Jamieson www.twitter.com/JamiesonDavid

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Keep building on the progress made since coming out of administration. And win all our derby games – Charlton, Millwall and Brighton!  If all else fails finishing above Brighton will do nicely

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing to Brighton and not matching the ambitions of some of our more talented youth products like WIlfried Zaha come season’s end

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We’re in desperate need of goals so priority is a striker who can score regularly. A CB is also required and possibly another winger

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Brighton!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Wilfried Zaha – if he keeps progressing at the rate he has it will be another torrid season for opposing full backs                                              Jonathan Williams too – his breakthrough season was disrupted by a broken leg but this should be a massive year for the little magician

6. Who will win the league?
The Championship is probably the most competitive league in Europe so it’s anybody’s guess.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Palace, hopefully!!! Think the bookies have been hard on us with only P’boro and Barnsley less likely to be promoted according to them

8. Where will you finish?
Toward the top section of mid-table, which is where we should’ve been last year before starting to run out steam around February

Millwall 

“No one rates us! We don’t care!”… Lions laugh at talk of relegation.

Last season: 16th
Home ground: The Den
Rivals: West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 20th

Questions answered by Total Carnage http://www.twitter.com/TotalCarnageMFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Top 10 finish

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Chairman leaving and going into administration

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Forward line especially a goalscorer

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Most like to beat Leeds United but MUST finish above Charlton and Palace for the 3rd consecutive season

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Keogh, Trotter and Henderson.

6. Who will win the league?
Nottingham Forest (If their new owner is true to his word re transfer budget) If not Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Dark horses – Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
Think we will finish 9th

Peterborough United

Fox hunt… Andrew van den Bent-Kelly wants Foxes scalp.

Last season: 18th
Home ground: London Road
Rivals: Cambridge United, Northampton Town, Leicester City, MK Dons
Bookies’ prediction: 23rd

Questions answered by Andrew van den Bent-Kelly www.twitter.com/AndrewvdBK

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
I hope we can push on from last season, but the league will be much tougher this year, so the priority has to be staying up again. We’re still in the process of establishing ourselves as a Championship side.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation. We’re still the smallest club in the league so we’ll be favourites to go down, as we were last season. After all our hardwork last year, suffering from Second Season Syndrome would be disastrous

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We seem to have made the right signings so I don’t think any position needs a dramatic overhaul now. If Boyd and Taylor do leave then we may need another addition up-front, but I’m confident that the squad is good enough

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I appreciate that the feeling isn’t really mutual, but most Posh fans would love to beat Leicester!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Provided he remains injury-free, our new signing Danny Swanson looks the real deal. Two of our best players last year were Zakuani and Alcock so I hope they can produce similar levels of performance. Our new keeper Bobby Olejnik also has the ability to flourish this season

6. Who will win the league?
I’m going to go for Bolton

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I doubt they’ll get successive promotions, but Sheffield Wednesday are one of the biggest clubs in the league and I wouldn’t put it past them to nick a play-off spot

8. Where will you finish?
It will be tough, but I believe we have a good enough squad to not only stay up, but improve on last year’s showing. I’ll say 16th